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on 23 July 2005
The story of the West Memphis Three (see [...] for full case details) is a gripping one. You couldn't write a better story. Although, it is fair to say that some may say 'this is too far-fetched, this could NEVER happen' ... but it DID happen, it is STILL happening.
Damien Echols is no longer the teenager that was incarcerated in the early 70's accused of the brutal murder (along with Jesse Misskelley and Jason Baldwin) of three 8 year old boys. Sometimes the teenager still glows from the pages of this book. The man who's never seen the internet, who's never watched a DVD all because he wore black, read occult books and was viewed with suspicion by a small pocket of the West Memphis community.
This book is an insight into the background of this man. People who want the gory details of his arrest and trial will be sorely disappointed, these are only touched on in the last few chapters, and not in much detail either.
Instead, the story of a young man discovering himself; rebelling,falling in obsessive love, battling with parents (and step-parents) unfolds. We could all have written the first half of the book ... well, most of us. Instead, in the back of your mind, as you read this, you know that Damien Echols is not like us. Damien is a man who has been locked up and had the key thrown away. Damien is a man sitting on death row, waiting for justice to be done.
Before I'd heard about the WM3, I used to joke to my friends that if I was ever suspected in a murder case, and they took a look at my book collection, I would be a prime suspect (let's face it, every killer has had their library records and book collections scrutinised). I stopped making this joke after I read about this case. Because it happened to these boys.
'My Life Story' isn't the best written auto-biography I've ever read, but you connect with the story on so many levels that you forgive him for his naivity and arrogance.
I just wish Jason Baldwin and Jesse Misskelley were as vocal ...
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on 11 May 2007
Damien Echols is sat on death row for a crime he says he didn't commit. It wasn't hard to make up my mind, the police say he and two friends did it. You decide. While reading this book I laughed and cried. I read it in one day I could not put it down. I challenge you not to have a lump in your throat as he recalls how he cried when he started to get letters of support. It's an American tragedy.
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on 3 August 2006
If you are interested in this case, you will love this book. It is now 13 years since the murders that happened in 1993. Highly recommend this one.
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